Street Egohood: An Alternative Perspective of Measuring Neighborhood and Spatial Patterns of Crime
The current study proposes an approach that accounts for the importance of streets while at the same time accounting for the overlapping spatial nature of social and physical environments captured by the egohood approach. Our approach utilizes overlapping clusters of streets based on the street network distance, which we term street egohoods.
We used the street segment as a base unit and employed two strategies in clustering the street segments: (1) based on the First Order Queen Contiguity; and (2) based on the street network distance considering physical barriers. We utilized our approaches for measuring ecological factors and estimated crime rates in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
We found that whereas certain socio-demographics, land use, and business employee measures show stronger relationships with crime when measured at the smaller street based unit, a number of them actually exhibited stronger relationships when measured using our larger street egohoods. We compared the results for our three-sized street egohoods to street segments and two sizes of block egohoods proposed by Hipp and Boessen (Criminology 51(2):287–327, 2013) and found that two egohood strategies essentially are not different at the quarter mile egohood level but this similarity appears lower when looking at the half mile egohood level. Also, the street egohood models are a better fit for predicting violent and property crime compared to the block egohood models.
A primary contribution of the current study is to develop and propose a new perspective of measuring neighborhood based on urban streets. We empirically demonstrated that whereas certain socio-demographic measures show the strongest relationship with crime when measured at the micro geographic unit of street segments, a number of them actually exhibited the strongest relationship when measured using our larger street egohoods. We hope future research can use egohoods to expand understanding of neighborhoods and crime.
KeywordsStreets Neighborhoods Level of aggregation Units of analysis Egohood Crime
- Appleyard D (1981) Livable streets. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
- Atash F (1994) Redesigning suburbia for walking and transit: emerging concepts. J Urban Plan Dev 120(1):48–57. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9488(1994)120:1(48) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Block RL, Block CR (1995) Space, place and crime: hot spot areas and hot places of liquor-related crime. In: Eck JE, Weisburd D (eds) Crime and place. Criminal Justice Press, Monsey, pp 145–183Google Scholar
- Colabianchi N, Dowda M, Pfeiffer KA, Porter DE, Almeida MJC, Pate RR (2007) Towards an understanding of salient neighborhood boundaries: adolescent reports of an easy walking distance and convenient driving distance. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 4(1):66. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-4-66 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Duncan DT, Kawachi I, Subramanian SV, Aldstadt J, Melly SJ, Williams DR (2013) Examination of how neighborhood definition influences measurements of youths’ access to tobacco retailers: a methodological note on spatial misclassification. Am J Epidemiol 179(3):373–381. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwt251 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Felson M (1987) Routine activities and crime prevention in the developingmetropolis. Criminology 25(4):911–932. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-9125.1987.tb00825.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Forsyth A, Van Riper D, Larson N, Wall M, Neumark-Sztainer D (2012) Creating a replicable, valid cross-platform buffering technique: the sausage network buffer for measuring food and physical activity built environments. Int J Health Geogr 11:14. https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-072x-11-14 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Golledge RG, Stimson RJ (1997) Spatial behavior: a geographic perspective. The Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Jacobs J (1961) The death and life of great American cities. Vintage, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Jacobs AB (1993) Great Streets. ACCESS Magazine 1(3):23-27. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/3t62h1fv
- Oberwittler D, Wikstrom H (2009) Why small is better: advancing the study of the role of behavioral contexts in crime causation. In: Weisburd D, Bernasco W, Bruinsma G (eds) Putting crime in its place: units of analysis in spatial crime research. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Park RE (1926) The urban community as a spatial pattern and a moral order. Urban Community 2:3–18Google Scholar
- Sastry N, Pebley AR, Zonta M (2002). Neighborhood definitions and the spatial dimension of daily life in Los Angeles. In: Labor and population program working paper series 03-02 (p 35). Santa Monica, CAGoogle Scholar
- Sherman L, Gartin P, Buerger M (1989) Hot spots of predatory crime: routine activities and the criminology of place. Criminology 27(1):27–56. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-9125.1989.tb00862.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Weisburd D, Bushway S, Lum C, Yang S-M (2004a) Trajectories of crime at places: a longitudinal study of street segments in the city of Seattle*. Criminology 42(2):283–322. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-9125.2004.tb00521.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Weisburd D, Lum C, Yang S-M (2004) The criminal careers of places: A longitudinal study (N. I. o. Justice/NCJRS, Trans.) (p 112). Rockville, MD 20849: National Institute of Justice, US Department of JusticeGoogle Scholar
- Wicker AW (1987) Behavior settings reconsidered: temporal stages, resources, internal dynamics, context. In: Stokels D, Altman I (eds) Handbook of environmental psychology. Wiley-Interscience, New York, pp 613–653Google Scholar
- Zenk SN, Schulz AJ, Mentz G, Lachance L, Robinson M, Odoms-Young A (2008) Food shopping behaviors in a multiethnic urban population: implications for measurement and obesity prevention. In: Conference presentation, annual meeting of the American Public Health AssociationGoogle Scholar